An ecstatic Natasha Joubert from Tshwane has been crowned Miss South Africa 2023 at the spectacular pageant finale held at the SunBet Arena at Time Square in Pretoria on Sunday night.

Joubert (26) is a BCom Marketing Management graduate and is the owner and fashion designer of Natalia Jefferys, a company she started when she was 19.

Runner-up was Johannesburg’s Bryoni Govender who was also the Motherkind fitness award winner.

An emotional and overwhelmed Joubert said she was truly humbled and grateful to win the title and to be the first to wear the glittering new Mowana (“Tree of Life”) crown from Nungu Diamonds.

She received R1 million in cash in a prize and sponsorship package that includes the use of a serviced apartment at the lavish Brookfield at Royal in Kensington – developed by Tricolt – for the year of her reign. She will also get to drive a Mercedes-Benz GLC as well as go on a trip to Paris sponsored by L’Oreal.

In her acceptance speech Joubert, a firm favourite among the crowd watching the pageant, said: “I am incredibly honoured and humbled to be crowned Miss South Africa 2023. As I step into this new role, I am filled with a sense of responsibility to make a positive difference in the world around me. I believe that success is not just about personal accomplishments, but about the opportunities we have to give back and uplift those around us. I will strive to be a source of inspiration and support for others, just as I have been supported on my journey now and before.

“This moment is the epitome of a full circle moment for me. A dream that started 11 years ago – and which three years ago did come to fruition after proudly representing my country on an international stage at Miss Universe at Miss Universe South Africa – has today become a reality. It took a lot of hard work, grit, self-confidence and support to keep my dream alive and to keep on believing in the beauty of second chances. It is a journey that I will forever be grateful for which moulded and shaped me into the woman I am today.

“I pledge to use this platform to advocate for the causes close to my heart and to be a source of inspiration for others. Entrepreneurship lies at the heart of innovation and economic growth. It is the driving force that propels nations forward, creating jobs, nurturing creativity, and fostering a spirit of resilience.

“I will also commit to cultivating an environment where entrepreneurial spirits can thrive. It pains me to know that more than half of South Africa’s youth lack the financial means to pursue their dreams. I was fortunate to receive a bursary that enabled me to continue my education, and I have been proactive in giving back. Not waiting for a crown on my head, I’ve been working to make a difference,” she revealed.

The winner of the special Crown Chaser of the season award, as voted for by the public, was Lungo Katete.

Says Stephanie Weil, CEO of the Miss South Africa Organisation:  “Huge congratulations to Natasha, our newly crowned Miss South Africa 2023. A worthy winner, she embodies the Miss South Africa Organisation’s vision that if you can dream it you can achieve it and that just one person can make a big difference. May this year’s winner inspire a nation. We can’t wait to see what she achieves. And well done to runner-up Bryoni and the other five finalists who gave it their all on the evening. We truly had a strong group of women vying for the crown this year, a testament to the importance and value that the Miss South Africa title has come to stand for.”

The Miss South Africa 2023 pageant finale was broadcast live on SABC 3 and streamed for an international audience on the Miss South Africa app.

The all-female judging line-up comprised reigning Miss Universe, R’Bonney Nola Gabriel, actress author and entrepreneur Leandie du Randt, actress and L’Oréal Paris Sub-Saharan Ambassador, Thuso Mbedu, media icon and award-winning investigative television journalist, Devi Sankaree Govender and entrepreneur and former Miss South Africa, Jo-Ann Strauss.

Miss South Africa is presented by Weil Entertainment in association with Sun International. SABC3 is the official broadcast partner.